UCEI delegation of Italian athletes and sport leaders visited Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Italian Minister for Sport and Youth, Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) and the Jewish Community of Rome invited Italian athletes and sport leaders to visit the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau

In the delegation were the president of Sport and Health, Marco Mezzaroma, the CEO, Diego Nepi Molineris, the number 1 of the Institute for Sports Credit Beniamino Quintieri and the vice presidents of Coni and Cip, Claudia Giordani and Roberto Valori.

After visiting the Schindler factory and the Jewish quarter on the first day, the delegation entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.

“These were the most emotionally profound moments – says Minister Abodi -. The silence and the looks spoke for us. In the silence we heard the screams of 80 years ago. And how many things we said to each other while locking eyes, there was no need to speak. I believe that each of those present who entered these places of pain came out different. A visit like this leaves something in your soul that changes you. It improves consciousness.”

The group that participated was characterized by its heterogeneity, representing the Italian sports system in its entirety.

“Cultivating memory is fundamental – continued Abodi -. Unfortunately we have to note with pain that history has taught us nothing. This is why it is important to ‘train’ your memory. October 7 is a clear symbol that shows that human beings have not understood the mistakes and horrors of the past. For this reason it is necessary to renew our testimony every day.”

“Everyone who was here recognized the value of sharing – concluded the minister -. It is a meaning that needs to be told and I am convinced that the testimony of those present will produce further positive effects. We cannot waste anything, so that this experience is not just ours, we cannot limit it to our lives.”

“I would like to express our profound gratitude and appreciation for the extraordinary experience lived during the journey of remembrance with Minister Abodi, the sporting realities present, the Olympic and Paralympic athletes – underlined Antonella Di Castro, Vice President of the Jewish Community of Rome – It is not it was just a simple visit to the places of memory, but a moment of sharing, reflection and commitment for the future. The presence of Olympic and Paralympic athletes made this experience even more meaningful, confirming the power of sport in promoting unity and understanding. During the trip, we had the opportunity to honor the memory of the victims of the Shoah, to perpetuate the testimonies of the survivors and to renew our commitment and the commitment of sport in combating anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance in all its forms”.

“I thank you for the extraordinary initiative which was achieved thanks to the perseverance and commitment of Minister Abodi, with the participation of the federations and all the sports entities present – ​​commented Alessandro Luzon, CER Councilor for Institutional Relations -. A spontaneous project, which originates from an invitation from President Fadlun and which Minister Abodi promptly grasped and strongly supported. In these days we have experienced moments full of meaning, which deeply touched all the participants and made Olympic and Paralympic athletes and representatives of the sporting world witnesses of memory. We bring with us a great wealth of emotions and intentions, we renew our commitment to transmit what has been and to fight anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms”.


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